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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Guest Columnist:  Dan Helpingstine

Author of the new Sox book "Through Hope & Despair"

Why write as a Sox Fan? 

Ever wonder why  the White Sox continue to be outdrawn by a club that has a tradition of last place finishes and a championship drought is world renown?

The Chicago sports media and the White Sox will tell you it is the fault of the shiftless, un-loyal and fly-by-night Sox fan.  We don't appreciate what has been done for us, and so what if the Sox haven't won a World Series going on 85 years and hasn't even participated in one since Eishenhower was president.  We just don't have any business not going out to a white elephant stadium that has given us a great view of the projects for over 10 years now.

Through Hope and Despair - A Fan's Memories of the Chicago White Sox 1967 - 1997 doesn't explain all the mysteries of Chicago major league baseball.  It won't also try to explain the mentality of a Cub fan - it just bashes the Cubbie faithful whenever it gets the chance.  The book does take a hard look at the Sox during a pivotal 30-year period that has lead to inconsistent win-loss records and a serious case of fan alienation.

What qualifies me to write such a book? you might ask.  For one thing, I've been a fan since 1961 and have suffered through all the lean years and mind boggling defeats.  For another, I'm not a shameless, self-promoting media type like Chris Berman and am otherwise not compromised by needing access to the team on a daily basis.  Like most other Sox fans, I just like to see a World Series on the South Side every once in a while. 

So if you want to read something that says you're the problem, just pick up the Sun-Times or Tribune on any day of the week.  If you want an honest perspective, take a look at Through Hope and Despair.

Editor's Note:  Dan Helpingstine is a free lance writer living in Highland, Indiana.  In the early 80's, he worked as a stringer for The Times, then based in Hammond, Indiana, covering business-labor news.  For six years, he worked as a part-time sportswriter for the Merrillville Herald, a weekly that was a part of a chain of weeklies in Lake and Porter Counties.  He covered high school football and basketball.  In 1995, Helpingstine had a short story published in a murder mystery anthology entitled Murder Is My Business.  He also has had articles on the JFK murder published in the Post-Tribune of Gary.  His new book is titled "Through Hope and Despair."  It is the story of one fan's roller coaster ride with the luckless White Sox.

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